Your Face Is Out There – Facebook & College Admission
Think your facebook profile has nothing to do with college admission? Think again. The face you showcase on online networking sites could also be the face you present to admission representatives. And, while you should consider who’s looking at your profile, you should consider, too, the ways that Facebook might be able to assist you in your college search.
First and foremost, make sure your Facebook profile is rated PG. Why? A quarter of colleges use search engines to research potential students, and a fifth use social networking sites like Facebook to see what students are like outside of their applications. So, choose photos that don’t incriminate you in any inappropriate or illegal activities. And instead of listing “hanging with my peeps” as one of your activities, use your profile to your advantage by including the kinds of interests and extracurriculars that would appeal to admission officers, like your volunteer work or interest in journalism. (But that being said, don’t lie or embellish just to impress admission reps. And yes, you can keep your “fun” stuff on your profile, too — just keep it clean!)
Being smart about Facebook doesn’t mean limiting your contacts, however. In fact, some college admission offices have even created Facebook profiles of their own where students can learn more about the school, as well as ask questions or open a dialogue. The admission offices of the University of California, Davis, the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, Penn State University, Lehigh University and Centre College, to name a few, are all accepting new Facebook friends.
You might also want to use Facebook as a means to connect with other prospective students or to chat with enrolled students. (It’s currently estimated that 90 percent of undergraduate students are signed up with Facebook, where it’s available.). Who better to talk to about the college of your choice than a student who’s already there? Current students can alleviate your fears and give you the inside scoop, revealing what college life is really like — beyond what they show you in college guidebooks and on college websites.
Nervous about what’s in store for you in college? Worried about making friends? Facebook searches are an easy, non-threatening way to reach out to other students who might be able to curb your anxiety. According to Gary L. Ross, dean of admission at Colgate University, several groups of students from various regions around the country used Facebook over the summer to organize regional gatherings before coming to college. As a result, many incoming freshmen arrived on campus already having established friendships with other students from their region.
The very night she was accepted, Prachi Priyam, for example, created the “Stanford 2011” Facebook group, according to The Daily Stanford. About 80 percent of Prachi’s freshmen class eventually joined her online, and Prachi used Facebook to meet up with other Bay Area admits prior to starting school in the fall. No matter how you use Facebook, make sure you’re getting as much out of it as you can. Don’t let it hinder your college prospects. Instead, allow social networking to aid you in your college quest and make your transition from high school to college as smooth as possible.
No matter how you use Facebook, make sure you’re getting as much out of it as you can. Don’t let it hinder your college prospects. Instead, allow social networking to aid you in your college quest and make your transition from high school to college as smooth as possible.